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Monday, March 25, 2013

Microwave Caramel Popcorn

Hey there-

Today I'm telling you about a recipe that I have loved my whole life. I don't remember having any homemade caramel popcorn not made this way. It's super easy, and all in the microwave, and when you're a kid, the whole bag-shaking part of this recipe is super fun. Well, I can't lie, it's still fun! Let's get to it- I have many pictures but it is very simple in reality.

Your plain popcorn, in a large brown bag.
Your butter, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt in a glass bowl.
The caramel mixture after the initial 3 minutes in the microwave.
Caramel mixture after the additional 1.5 minutes, and just adding the baking soda which leads to...
...this! The baking soda makes the mixture foam up and become lighter in color- stir well and quickly!
Using hot pads (!! very important- have them ready because your glass bowl will be hot!), pour the caramel mixture onto the popcorn, and shake it up.
Microwave the bag once, shake, another microwave, shake again, then pour it out. This picture is also to tell you that it might help to check the size of your microwave before you begin- also take out the turntable in the bottom as it will be useless in turning a bag the size of the microwave!

Microwave Caramel Popcorn
(I keep it pure, but feel free to add nuts, etc to your caramel corn after it is finished in the microwave if you desire)
-popcorn, about 1 1/3 cups unpopped
-1 cup brown sugar
-1/2 cup butter
-1/2 cup light corn syrup
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Air pop your popcorn, pop it on the stove top, or as a last resort, use unflavored microwave popcorn- 3-4 quarts about, popped. Put your popcorn in a large brown paper bag. [Optional: spray the inside of the bag lightly with oil to try to make it stick less.]
Place the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, salt, and vanilla in a heat proof glass bowl (like Pyrex).
Microwave the sugar mixture for about 3 minutes, then stir until well blended.
Microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes longer, remove, add the baking soda, and stir very well- the mixture will foam up a bit and become lighter in color.
Immediately pour the caramel you've made in the microwave over the popcorn in the bag.
Roll down the top of the bag once or twice so nothing will come out of the top, and shake the bag vigorously to help spread out the caramel topping.
Put the brown bag in the microwave, and microwave for about 1 minute 10 seconds.
Remove the bag, shake vigorously, and put it back in the microwave with the original top side downwards.
Microwave another 1 minute and 10 seconds. Remove and shake one more time!
Pour the caramel corn out onto waxed paper, spread out, and let cool.
[Optional: pour popcorn out onto parchment paper lined baking sheets and bake for 5 or so minutes at 300 F to crisp the popcorn a little.]
Store in an airtight container.

Here's the popcorn after the initial pouring out- yum!! And you can stop here, or...

...stick it in the oven for a few minutes, but make sure it isn't too close to the top or it may burn. This will crisp it a little bit.

Savor it!
love, rue

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